Sunday, May 31, 2009

All gods are real

When you understand why I accept all other gods, you'll understand why I reject your atheism

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Have you been touched by forgiveness?

There are few things more relieving than knowing that you’re forgiven, that guilt has been removed, that there is nothing owing. As the line says,

“A good conscience makes a soft pillow.”

There is nothing that allows for freer breathing and a sense of peace than to know that one is right with one’s Maker. What a wonderful thing it is to be surrounded by God’s gentle mercy, to know that He longs to forgive those who have wronged Him. "I take no delight in the death of the wicked. I long for you to turn from your sins and be saved."

I suspect there are few things that make a person more miserable than pretending to not need forgiveness.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The incredible love of Allah,

I had an atheist tell me that the love of God is exactly like the “incredible love of Allah.” Ah, those atheists, totally ignorant about anything to do with their Creator.

Did you know that in the Bible, the word love is used almost 400 times and about 75% of those times it’s talking about God’s love for us? And did you know that in the Quran, the word love in not used even once, not one single time to describe Allah? God in the Bible is described as a personal, knowable God who is intensely interested in the joy and the well-being of you the individual. The Quran describes Allah as distant and unknowable. The Bible teaches that God loves everyone equally, even enemies and sinners. In fact the whole purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to make peace with his enemies and to invite them to an eternal home in the presence of God’s Love. The Quran teaches that Allah loves only faithful Muslims. The Quran teaches that Allah hates sinners and infidels. In fact the Quran teaches that Allah hates them so much that faithful Muslims are encouraged to kill infidels “where ever they may be found.” The Bible teaches that through Jesus and because of His love we can have assurance of salvation. The Quran teaches that while only Muslims will have salvation, no individual Muslim can know if s/he will be saved. The faithful Muslim can only hope that Allah will find h/her worthy of paradise. In fact the only way for a Muslim to be guaranteed paradise is to die while killing non Muslims. Unlike Christianity, there is no Saviour in Islam and no promise of salvation. Unlike Christianity, Islam has no means of or basis for forgiveness. Perhaps most relevant to our time is the difference between Islam and Christianity regarding the term martyr. In Christianity a martyr is someone who is killed by others for what s/he believes. In Islam a martyr is someone who dies while killing others because of what s/he, the Muslim, believes.

Christianity and Islam, Creator God and Allah are not anything alike.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Atheists and Intimate Details

Ah, atheists - sometimes you just gotta love em. On atheist blogs the debate continues over whether to identify themselves as “People who don’t believe in God,” OR “Non believers in God.” They sometimes throw in fairies and leprechauns and Zeus for comic effect but everyone knows, including atheists, who they’re really talking about. To make their point, atheists joke at how ridiculous it would be to have a special name for people who don’t play golf. What they miss is the exponential increase in the level of farce it would be, as atheists in reality do, to debate LITERALLY for years on end as to whether they should call themselves “People who don’t play golf,” OR “Non players of golf.” This type of thinking seems to be the result of having an endless fascination with self. Yet the goofiness goes on.

In a yet to be discovered connection to the Prop 8 fiasco in California, atheist blogger vjack is taking it to the street and leading a charge whereby he and his friends will frantically demand that Christians from across the nation (around the world?) immediately begin to take non players of golf seriously.

Ya, we’ll get right on that.

Does the foolishness end there? We wish. Atheists, these people who deny the existence of Creator God can describe in intimate detail the God they don’t believe in. They can describe His shortcomings and failings. They can tell you how they would have done a better job if they had been God. Atheists take Theologians to task for not understanding God properly - yes that’s right, the God they don’t believe in. Atheists even have pet names for the God they don’t believe in, and those names range all the way from the mundane “asshole” to the rather exotic (for an atheist) “fucked up schizophrenic.” I’m told that for those who attend atheist conferences, that any first year atheist who can recite by heart Richard Dawkins’ 19 point description of Creator God (the one HE doesn’t believe in) from The God Delusion, will get 5% off the price of their hotel room.

Atheists, the people who don’t need God to be nice people, and the ones who say about Christians, "They feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do."

What are you going to do with them? Sometimes you just gotta love em.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No Longer on Team-Christian

Here’s something I just read from a guy who’s cashing in big from promoting himself as a former Christian (it’s all the rage - don’t you know?) now turned atheist. He’s speaking about the benefits of no longer being on team Christian. Actually he was a Captain on Team Christian; not much of a Captain but a Captain nevertheless.

“[Since joining team atheist] I don’t have to try to justify what I do from the Bible. I don’t have to try to justify why I never tithed the whole ten percent (Christians do not do this by far–as a former minister I know they don’t), or why I never spent enough time in prayer, or why I did not give thanks for everything, or why I did not evangelize all of the time, or why I didn’t do more in response to my belief that God sent his son to atone for my sins.”

It really does sound like he’s a lot better off now that he’s left the fold. So are a lot of other people, I suspect. It’s a little bit like saying, "Since I quit playing hockey, I no longer have to justify coming late for practice more than anyone else on the team. I don’t have to lie to the coach anymore about why I couldn’t meet curfew. I don’t have to endure the looks of my teammates for staying out of the corners to avoid being hurt. I don’t have to feel angry about having to go to the gym to stay in shape (especially when I know not everybody on the team went to the gym like they were supposed to). And I really don’t have to feel guilty for smoking dope every day ‘cause it made me short of breath. The good thing about leaving hockey is that I don’t have to conform any longer to all those stupid expectations that teams seem to have. I can do whatever I want. I’m free. I’m really, free. Do you know anybody who wants to buy a used pastor, I mean used hockey equipment?"

Oh, and if the book deals don’t pan out, I hear they’re hiring atheist pastors in the Netherlands.

Do You Know the Way?

Christianity has long taken hit after hit for its “exclusivist” “narrow” “exclusionary” and for the dumbest of atheists, what they call our “arrogant” views on salvation. The clearest verse that draws these attacks is Jesus’ comment, “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”

Oh how people wail and moan and flail their arms about over that one verse. You’d think a root-canal without freezing was being done on them. The way they go on and on about all the good people in the world who will miss out on salvation because Jesus says that He is the only way to God, borders on the ridiculous.

The thing is, if that’s how you see the situation , I think you’re seeing it wrong. This was pointed out by our Bible Discovery teacher on Sunday. Here’s the thing, the fact that there exists ANY route by which God can and will accept us into His presence is amazing. We who are sinful to the core, we who from conception exist in rebellion to our Creator, we who in arrogance believe that we don’t need our Creator for every heartbeat, for every breath, we who, again, arrogantly think that we can be good enough to be good enough for Heaven, well, we should not ever expect that our Creator would allow any of us into His presence.

We are the ones who allow thousands upon thousands of children to starve to death every year. We are the ones who allow thousands upon thousands of children to be sold into sexual slavery every year. We are the ones who force children to go through life permanently wounded because of abuse, neglect and divorce. We are the ones who are destroying this jewel of a planet. We are the ones who destroy millions through war and man-made famine and floods. We are the ones who watch murder, and adultery and lying as entertainment and then wonder why our societies are so violent and corrupt. We are the ones who place beauty, education and money ahead of integrity, kindness and love.

God tried to protect the human race from knowing anything at all about evil and death. We didn’t believe Him. We took matters into our own hands and from that moment on everything on earth became prone to death, decay and destruction. Everything is fatally flawed. All things are cursed. Even the earth itself, the Bible says, “will wear out like an old rag.” Who would have dreamed, thousands of years ago to write in this, what atheists derisively call a Bronze Age Book, that the earth would ever run out of anything?

The good news is, God has provided a way, at His own expense so what we can be forgiven, our guilt can be removed and we can spend eternity in paradise, i.e., in the very presence of our Creator. In reality, no other religion or philosophy is as inclusive and humble as Christianity. In Christianity, the playing field is absolutely level.

God has provided a way - ONE WAY - that we might be redeemed. Rather than having a hissy-fit over there being just one way to solve our problem, I’d think we should be happy that there is any way at all. Jesus who is God has taken the guess-work out of our relationship with our Creator. We don’t have to wonder if we’re good enough, if we’ve done enough, if we’ve given enough, if we’ve been kind enough or humble enough. We don’t have to wonder if we’ve offered enough of ourselves to appease an angry god as is the case in ALL other religions. God has done everything possible to not only give us choice in our lives (which makes possible the reality of real love), He has made it possible to cancel the consequences of misusing that freedom of choice. Jesus says to all of us who are lost, “Come! Come to Me and I will give you rest for your souls. You don’t have to guess behind which door you’ll find salvation. I’ve opened the One and Only door and I’ll hold it open for you until every last person who is going to accept my offer has made it safely home. All you have to do is come to Me.”

Just how dumb or stubborn, or rebellious does someone have to be to turn down this offer?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do you want to get well?

I remember, back a few years when I was pretty much at my worst regarding my arthritis. My wife would have to help me get dressed in the morning and undressed at night. She’d help me get in and out of bed. She’d help me to stand up from the table and she’d help me get into and out of the car. To get around on a nice day I used one of those electric scooters. I remember my three-year-old son and I watching from our living-room window as a man walked down the street with his son. It was in the spring and I’d told my son, probably for the third time that morning that I couldn’t go for a walk with him until all the snow was off the road. As we watched this man and his boy, my son looked up at me and said, “Is that a different kind of dad, whose legs work?” My heart aches and it nearly brings me to tears to remember that day. He is such a dear boy.

And then Jesus said, “Do you want to get well?” The paralytic had been spending his day laying by the pool of Bethesda for decades. He’d been crippled for all of his 38 years. Hundreds of people, sick and infirm were laying in the sun as Jesus and his disciples were walking by. Why Jesus chose this man we’ll never know, but choose him He did. Jesus stopped, looked the man in the eyes and asked, “Do you want to be well?”

Like everything else in our relationship with Jesus, we need to be a participant in our growth, in our change. We have to want it. We have to reach out and receive it.

That is what prideful atheists cannot tolerate. If being well means asking for help to get well (atheists call it grovelling), atheists would rather pretend to themselves and to others that there is nothing wrong with them. To all others who are willing to be honest with themselves, Jesus asks, “Do you want to be well? Do you want to be forgiven? Do you want to be freed from guilt, break destructive habits, or restore a broken relationship? Do you want your emptiness filled, do you want a life of meaning and context and purpose, do you want to be rid of bitterness and anger? Do you want to be freed from the power of sin?”

Oh yes. Give me that. Give me a life worth living. Give me Jesus. Thank you Lord.

In case you’re interested - I’ve been healed. I'm on a new medication that has all but eliminated my arthritis. In fact I’m the healthiest that I’ve been in 58 years of living. After 46 years of crippling arthritis (mine started when I was ten years old), if you met me today for the first time you’d never know that I’d had arthritis. Yes, I’d hurt my back in a sky-diving accident and broke my neck in freak water sliding accident so I’m fused and stiff from those things, and my fingers are still twisted and fused - ok - so maybe you'd notice that I'd had arthritis. But all in all it’s like I’ve been given a second chance at life. I now have movement in joints that I'd long ago given up on. I can go for walks and play with my kids regardless of the season. When I hear people complaining about shovelling snow or mowing the grass I think, "Are you kidding me? It's awesome to be able to do those things." The scooter hasn't been used for three years. It sits in the shed along with an assortment of crutches and canes and walkers. In fact my youngest children, who’d only known me as crippled watched one day, three years ago, as I climbed on my bike for the first time in seven years. And as I rode off the driveway and on to the street I heard one of them exclaim, “Dad doesn’t even need training wheels!”

Monday, May 25, 2009

God doesn’t have grandchildren

Most everyone has heard of how we can become a child of God. That happens when we’re “saved,” when we’ve accepted Jesus as our “Saviour,” when we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and become Lord and Master of our lives. When that happens we become, like I said, a child of God. Another term for that is, the person has become a Christian.

So what happens to the CHILDREN of someone who is a child of God? What happens to someone who was raised in a Christian home and who has learned to mimic the behaviours of Christianity? When a child of a child of God prays, or reads h/her Bible every day, or leads a Bible study or tells others about Jesus, or is a member of the Church Board or even the Pastor of a Church, does that person automatically become a grandchild of God? After all, they’ve been marinated in a Christian atmosphere. They’ve done all the behaviours of Christianity. Maybe they’ve done those behaviours very well. Does that mean they’ve become a Christian by osmosis, by default?

Of course the answer is, “No. Not at all.” Becoming a Christian is not something that happens by default. Being raised in a Christian home doesn’t make someone a Christian. Becoming a child of God is not something that one inherits. Being saved, becoming a Christian is not something that anyone can do for you or give to you by natural birth. Becoming a Christian is something that involves a personal exchange that takes place between the individual and Jesus. No one else is involved. God does adopt us as His children, but God does not have grandchildren.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Atheists luv eyewitnesses

Well, not really. First of all atheists say that there weren’t any eyewitnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. And if you give them five or even five hundred they say, “Well, that doesn’t matter because you can’t trust what eyewitnesses tell you.”

John 1:14 - [God the Son] became flesh and pitched His tent among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son who came from our Heavenly Father, Creator God, full of grace and truth.

1st John 1:1-3 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. This Life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal Life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

John said the following regarding the intense three years he spent as a disciple of Jesus.:
. I have seen Jesus in the morning when He awoke
. I have seen Jesus as He slept
. I have seen Jesus when He was hungry
. I have seen Jesus when He was sad and crying
. I have seen Jesus when He was irritated and angry
. I have seen Jesus handle debates like a pro
. I have seen Jesus intimidated only once, just before His arrest
. I have seen Jesus handle crowds of 12 to 15 thousand people
. I have seen Jesus sneaking off to get by Himself and be alone
. I have seen Jesus content even though He owned nothing but the clothes on His back
. I have seen Jesus protect little children, hold them and play with them
. I have seen Jesus protect women, even foreign women from a harsh patriarchal system
. I have seen Jesus love and accept society’s outcasts just as if He belonged with them
. I have seen Jesus fast and pray
. I have seen Jesus confound and challenge the wisest and most educated people
. I have seen Jesus standing on a mountain dazzling like the sun
. I have seen Jesus heal people that I’ve known to be blind and crippled for, well, for all of my life
. I have seen Jesus lowly and humble riding on a donkey on the day of what we thought would be His coronation, just like that guy Maccabees, a Jewish hero from long ago
. I have seen Jesus let women, even prostitutes show Him great respect. He showed no nervousness at all when they did this.
. I have NEVER seen Jesus treat women like a sexual object
. I have NEVER heard Jesus tell a lie or deceive or manipulate people in any way
. I have seen Jesus hug drunks and tax collectors even Roman collaborators of all people
. I have seen Jesus be called a son of satan. He got pretty serious then and warned the people sternly that they were treading on dangerous territory.
. I have seen Jesus teach and teach and teach for hours on end, sometimes for a whole day
. I have seen Jesus heal so many people I wouldn’t even be able to estimate how many there were
. I have seen Jesus praised and worshipped and He accepted worship as though nothing unusual was happening
. I have seen Jesus, God incarnate, the Creator of the universe wash not only my feet but the feet of Judas just a couple hours before Judas betrayed Him. Maybe you already know this but washing someone’s feet is something that we’d only allow gentile servants to do. I mean this is the lowest job on the planet and my King, my Saviour, my Lord did that for me.
. I have seen Jesus allow Himself to be arrested like a common criminal
. I have seen Jesus allow people to tell lies about Him
. I have seen Jesus allow people to punch Him in the face
. I have seen Jesus allow people to pull out His beard
. I have seen Jesus allow people to kick Him in the groin and butt Him with the blunt ends of their spears.
. I have seen Jesus beaten and bloodied with a crown of thorns rammed down on His head
. I have seen Jesus carrying His own cross, beaten so badly that He could hardly walk; beaten so badly in fact that if I hadn’t known it was Him I wouldn’t have been able to recognise Him.
. I have seen Jesus hanging on a cross while the religious people mocked and insulted Him
. I have seen Jesus forgive those who were killing Him
. I have seen Jesus’ love for His mother in that He asked me to take care of her after His death
. I have seen Jesus run through with a spear and water and blood gushed out of His side.
. I have seen Jesus dead
. I have seen Jesus buried
. I have seen Jesus alive again three days later. This was no vision like some people have after losing a loved one. Not a chance. This was no apparition. I ate with Jesus after He rose from the dead. I walked with Him and talked with Him and hugged Him. At one point more than 500 of us were gathered around as He was giving us His final teaching about the Kingdom of God. Some have said that we were hallucinating. They don’t know what they’re talking about. People don’t SHARE hallucinations. But what else can they say? They don’t want to accept Jesus as God in human form. They say it couldn’t happen, Him rising from the dead, but I know it did. A lot of us know it happened, and Rome and the Pharisees be damned, we’re going to tell the whole world about this. No one is going to stop us.

They had no right to kill Jesus. Yes it was prophesied a thousand years ago that it would happen. And yes this was the whole reason that He came to earth, to die in our place. But Jesus was a good man. He did not deserve to die as a criminal. This was a man who never lied - not once. He told the truth whether it would disappoint people or even if it would get Him into trouble. He didn’t care. Jesus was the living definition of TRUTH. This guy was born into poverty. His dad died when Jesus was hardly more than a boy, but you know what? Not once did I see Jesus complain about how hard life was back then. When it was His time to begin His ministry, Jesus turned the carpentry business over to His brothers. Why? Because telling people about God was more important to Jesus than making money. He didn’t even have a place of His own. Nothing. He didn’t care. God and the kingdom of God was the most important thing in Jesus’ life.

I knew Jesus better than I’ve know anyone and I can tell you that He literally never hurt anyone, not even those who hurt Him. After His resurrection Jesus forgave His sisters and brothers and welcomed them into God’s Kingdom. This, even though they’d thought He was insane and treated Him like He was insane. They’d been really harsh, mocking Him and treating Him like the village idiot, but He didn’t care. He still accepted them. Jesus didn’t ignore people either. If they came to Him for help, He helped them. If people want an example to live by to make their way through life or even to God, well Jesus IS the WAY. He’s the example to follow. That Man changed me forever. The transformation that Jesus has brought about in me is phenomenal. I used to be so angry. I was such an “in your face” kind of guy. My brother was the same. Some people even called me and my brother The Sons of Thunder. But now? I love. I actually love people. Some people, especially atheists think I’m weak when I say this kind of stuff but I don’t care. I couldn’t have made these changes in my character without Jesus. If you want to know life and how to live it, follow Jesus for He is the LIFE.”

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Intellectually Fulfilled Atheist

It’s one thing to say, as atheists are fond of saying,
“If the evidence changes then I’m willing to change what I believe.”

It’s quite another thing to say, as atheists seem determined to say,
“I’m going to believe what I believe even if my belief contradicts known and knowable scientific evidence.”


. Yes Science says that anything that begins to exist has a cause for its beginning, But I believe that things can just pop into existence without a cause. For example our universe. It just happened - no cause.

. Yes Science says that everything that begins to exist has an explanation of its cause, But I don’t believe that’s true.

. Yes Science says that time, space and matter itself had a beginning, But I believe that they didn’t

. Yes Science says that the universe had a beginning, But I believe that it didn’t

. Yes Science says that matter cannot create itself, But I believe it can.

. Yes Science says that matter cannot precede itself, But I believe it can.

. Yes Science says that the infinite only exists as a concept, But I believe that it exists as reality.

. Yes Science says that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics points to a Singularity, But I believe that it doesn’t

. Yes Science says that the background radiation we observe points to a Singularity, But I believe that it doesn’t

. Yes Science says that the levels of entropy we find point to a Singularity, But I believe that it doesn’t

. Yes Science says that the expansion of the universe points to a Singularity, But I believe that it doesn’t

“I don’t care what science says, I won’t believe anything that opens the door to the possibility of Creator God.”

. Yes Science says that you can’t get everything from nothing by natural means, But I but I believe you can.

. Yes Science says that inorganic and inanimate gases cannot evolve, But I believe that they can

. Yes Science says that non life cannot produce life, But I believe that it can

. Yes Science says that randomness cannot produce fine-tuning, But I believe that it can

.Yes Science says that inanimate and inorganic gases cannot produce written information, But I believe that they can

. Yes Science says that “nothing” cannot produce intelligent, reasoning consciousness, But I believe that it can

. Yes Science says that we should go with the simplest explanation possible, and that the Big Bang is the simplest explanation of the origin of our universe, But I’m going to reject the Singularity - for obvious reasons - and I’m going to pick one or more of the following models even though each and every one of them has been proven to be unworkable:
The steady state model
Oscillating models
Baby universes
Multi verses
The Cyclic Ekpyrotic Scenario
The Chaotic Inflationary Model
Inflationary multi-verse
Bubble universes floating in a sea of false vacuum
The many worlds hypothesis
The black hole hypothesis
String Scenarios
Quantum gravity models
Vacuum fluctuation models
Imaginary time and imaginary space
Space aliens brought life to earth

“I don’t care what science says, I won’t believe anything that opens the door to the possibility of Creator God.”

. Yes it seems that objective morals exist, But I believe they don’t. In fact the whole reason I became an atheist is so that I can live as though the only morals, values and obligations that exist are those of my choosing.

. Yes the Christian world-view best explains what we observe but I’m going to say that it doesn’t.

. Yes the atheist world-view and its illogical and unscientific statements take a tremendous amount of faith, But I’m going to say to anyone who will listen that being an atheist doesn’t take any faith at all.

“We atheists live by the evidence and by the scientific method of discovery.”

See! All you have to do is say it. Listen to this!

“Atheism makes it possible for me to be intellectually fulfilled.”

Nothing to it. Just say it, and say it and say it until you believe it. Oh, and about God’s existence? It’s not that I can prove He doesn’t exist. I just deny that He does exist.”

Friday, May 22, 2009

Agnostic Bus Campaign Begins Monday

Ron Bibby, spokesperson for the local chapter of PAAS, the Portland Agnostics Association reported today that it’s time for agnostics across America to stand up and make their voices heard.

“For decades we’ve been ignored by religious fanatics. Now, atheists are starting to think they’re something special just because they’ve got their own bus adds. Rather than support us, atheists are actually turning their backs on us. Go to any atheist blog and you'll find atheists mocking us as weak and confused. Well, come Monday America is going to know that agnostics exist and that we need to be taken seriously.”

Mr. Bibby, whose group numbers 15 “on a good night,” and who gather “for wiener roasts and stuff,” says virtually all agnostics in the greater Portland area, “are fed up” with people not taking them seriously. “Most people don’t know what it’s like to be ignored. Well we do and it hurts.”

When asked how many cities the agnostic bus campaign would target come Monday, Mr. Bibby said that “for now we’ll just have Portland. And just for Monday. We don’t have a lot of money. Most of us live with our parents, you know.” And when asked what the bus ad would say, Mr. Bibby said with a smile, “We don’t know.” Just as I was about to protest, he smiled more broadly and said, “That’s what it’s gonna say. “We don’t know.” Cool huh? Short. Simple. Not hard to understand like that stupid, “There’s probably no God.” Sheesh! And they call us undecided.”

Richard Dawkins’ Bewilderment

Consider it sheer joy, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and it gains a chance to grow. So don’t try to get out of any difficulty prematurely. Let it do its work in you so you become mature in faith, and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (The Msg.)

I saw a discussion between Alistair McGrath and Richard Dawkins awhile back. At one point, Dawkins makes a comment regarding the Christian’s reaction to natural disasters. “I find it bewildering to note that natural disasters actually increase the faith of believers.”

Of course he finds it bewildering. How could it be anything but bewildering to an atheist to see people not just coping but actually thriving and growing stronger in the face of horrendous circumstances. What Dawkins actually means is, ‘Because I can’t understand this type of behaviour, there must be something wrong with it.’ Arrogance, pure arrogance.

Of course Dawkins and other atheists find it bewildering. Of course they are befuddled over the fact that they don’t experience God’s presence or power. Of course they are filled with dread in the face of disaster. They have no connection to God except to fall prey to the delusion He has sent them and to eventually be overwhelmed by His wrath. For Dawkins to be bewildered by a Christians’s faith is like someone who has never held a job and who lives on the street expressing bewilderment because, “Those who go to work every day always seem to have money. I just don’t get it!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. It's wonderful to experience joy, and peace and contentment and confidence and hope. Atheists and Christians alike enjoy these places of being. However, events in life, such as the death of someone close, chronic illness, abuse or some other form of tragedy can challenge or deplete these feelings. For Christians however, any joy or hope that is depleted by suffering is immediately replaced by the presence Jesus. What is even better is that the presence of Jesus is BETTER than confidence, peace and joy. In fact, Jesus seems more than an adequate replacement when those feelings are in short supply. As it says in Psalms, "Those who wait upon the Lord are like Mt. Zion, unmoved by any circumstance."
And that is what Dawkins finds so bewildering.

The presence of Jesus is something that atheists will:
. Never get
. Never comprehend
. Never experience

To anyone who adheres to the lies of satan, the power and strength of Christians does indeed appear incomprehensible. They can do nothing but misinterpret the actions of followers of Jesus. They can only project on to Christians the fear and rage that they themselves experience in the face of dire circumstances.

When disaster strikes, both atheist and Christian immediately become aware of the reality of God, but for very different reasons. The atheist thinks of God in order to blame Him, curse Him and say to Him, “This is why I refuse to believe in you.” When the atheist realises that most of Jesus’ followers don’t react like s/he does, the thoughts quickly flip into what Dawkins said to Alistair McGrath. “I find it bewildering to note that natural disasters actually increase the faith of believers.”

Rather than explain the reason for suffering (something that atheists petulantly demand from the God they don’t believe in), Jesus gives believers a way of coping with suffering. The purpose of the faith that God gives to believers is not to generate good feelings. The purpose of the faith that God gives to believers is to sustain them in the absence of good feelings. When a disaster strikes, the Holy Spirit that lives in each believer begins to infuse hope and peace and security into the soul of a Christian. For the believer:
. Tragedy is shown to have MEANING.
. Suffering takes place within the CONTEXT of God’s plan for the individual.
. Loss and pain are not a waste of time but have a PURPOSE above and beyond our own existence.

The Spirit of the living God is a presence that is palpable, tangible, real. In times of tragedy, it’s God’s Spirit that comforts. He counsels. He corrects and He guides. The Spirit of the living God increases our faith and our desire to worship Creator God regardless of circumstance.
In the face of painful circumstances, rather than peace and comfort, the atheist is filled with incredulity, rage, and hatred toward a God that the atheist claims to not even think about. It sucks to be God’s enemy at anytime, but it’s most certainly true in times of disaster.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh Dear! It’s a Pharisee.

One of the benefits of being through and through a horrible sinner is that it makes it very, very difficult to think of myself as standing higher than others. Those of us who have come face to face with our true selves are humbled and even humiliated, perplexed and perturbed by our inability to do the right thing. This, I think, allows us to stand more firmly beside others in their times of struggle.

The religious person who does not want to face h/her fundamental evil becomes tremendously stern and overly zealous on principles and on moral reforms. A person who is hyper-conscientious is nearly always one who has been caught up in some wrong (Ted Haggard ring a bell?). The person may come fairly near to insane with the contradictions in h/her life. This leads to a tremendous moral earnestness in setting right other people’s lives. It leads, as is the example of the United States, to a desire whereby morality is legislated. While we absolutely need Christians in government to fend off the Fascism of a government run by Darwinists, we do not need a Christian government. A Christian government is a government of Pharisees. Even the non religious know that’s not a good thing.

A Pharisee shuts you up , not by loud shouting, although sometimes that’s the case, but by focussing on principles by which “you” are not living. A relationship with Jesus will be totally absent from the Pharisee’s conversation. Instead, outward behaviours are the focus of a Pharisee. Inward change falls by the wayside. The United States has had to endure a great deal of Pharisaism in the last couple decades. It was based on devotion to principles, to actions, to stamping out the wrong. It was not devoted to a relationship with Jesus. Devotion to a cause is the great mark of our day, be it the “Out Campaign for Atheists” or “Stop Global Warming,” or “The Moral Majority” (perhaps the worst of them).

When religion becomes devoted to a cause, it means being devoted to the application of religious principles. It means a focus on the outward display. A disciple of Jesus is devoted to a person, not to principles. Only this relationship wears away hypocrisy. Only this relationship brings about positive inner change.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do atheists use Doctors?

It’s a relatively frequent refrain on atheist blogs; either railing against Christians who see atheists as globally evil or standing in wonder at how Christians can think they’d be out raping and pillaging if it wasn’t for the presence of Jesus in their lives.

I must confess that I too once thought (wrongly I’m glad to admit), that atheists would naturally be worse behaving individuals than Christians. After all, once we’re saved doesn’t Jesus sanctify us, make us whole, make us Holy? And if Jesus ISN’T doing that for us then wouldn’t we be, um, un Holy, even evil? I was absolutely evil in my pre Christian days and I’ve met thousands of people who can say the same about themselves. Once, when I told a person I’d gone to high school with that I was working as a counsellor she involuntarily gasped, “You! But you were the worst one!” To literally millions and millions of people, “Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me,” is not just some nice sounding chorus. We see it as the absolute truth and we are tremendously grateful for that salvation and the character transformation that was the result. Obviously that’s not the case for atheists. They see no need for saving grace. I currently have an atheist at my blog ranting about "Jesus ejaculating into your mouth," and he thinks he's a really good person. That seems to be true for the vast majority of atheists. They actually see themselves as good people. As another atheist recently told me, “I’m a nice person when I want to be.” While I think THAT guy is foolishly deluded, like I said, I was wrong. Some atheists are pretty decent individuals. So why the confusion on BOTH sides?

Well, first of all it’s just natural to see our enemies as bad, wrong, even evil. The evil that’s in us causes us to dehumanise those who we believe are making our lives more difficult. This in turn allows us to retaliate with less harassment from our conscience. No doubt a growing percentage of atheists see Christianity as their enemy and so too for Christians and their view of atheism. Yet, in a weird twist we find atheists lamenting to Christians, “Why can’t you see what a good person I am?” While Christians demand, “Why can’t you see how evil we all are?” Both sides judge the other from their own perspective with atheists chastising Christians for adopting a worm theology and Christians postulating that atheists must be as evil as the we Christians once were.

Actually, I think this dichotomy is one of the proofs of Jesus’ existence. Here’s why. Jesus tells us that He did not come to seek those who see themselves as healthy. Rather He came to heal those who know they are sick. And how do we know that we’re sick? Well, we don’t unless God opens our eyes to see the evidence for what it is (John 6:44). Without this revelation regarding our sin-sickness we just go merrily along to the end of our lives, not realising that we’re dead men walking. We are all born with the propensity for evil, but due to many and varied circumstances, we are not all equally overtly evil.

For example, we may find two individuals seemingly equal in their degree of DEMONSTRATED evil; one of them is a Christian and one of them is an atheist. Both of them are upstanding members of their community. Both of them are “good” husbands and dads. Neither have been in trouble with the law and both respect their fellow man. Yes they both tell “little” lies from time to time. Yes, both of them have spoken harshly to their children from time to time. Only one of them however, has had Jesus open his eyes to the POTENTIAL for evil that lives in him while the other is allowed by God to believe that there really is nothing wrong in his character. Only one of them has had Jesus open his eyes to the immensity of the actual wrong that he has done in the past. The other is allowed to believe that his past indiscretions are no big deal. Both are equally sick but only the former can see his desperate need for help and forgiveness. The latter cannot. Neither have visible symptoms of spiritual trouble but God has given one an early and convincing warning that something needs to be done and done now. Only one knows that his thought life contains within it the stench of spiritual death.

Those who God knows will respond positively to His call home are given eyes that can see and ears that can hear. Those who God knows will not respond positively to His call hear nothing from God at all. God gives atheists exactly what they want, the confidence that it's all good.

. Just as only the sick seek the help of a physician, only those who recognise the sin (either actual or potential) that is in them seek help from their Creator.

. Just as it never occurs to those who are healthy to go see a doctor, so too with atheists.

Atheists have no clue that they are in dire need of help. The disease of sin lies undetected beneath the surface of the atheist’s awareness. Appeals from Christians to the atheist of, “You should go have a check up,” are barely tolerated or brusquely turned away with, “You’re too judgmental.

I’ve told before the story of a concentration camp survivor who sat in on a war crimes trial in Nuremberg. During a break a reporter noticed tears streaming down the cheeks of the survivor. Guessing wrongly, the reporter asked, “Are those tears of rage at the evil that man has perpetrated upon you and your relatives?” The survivor replied, “No. These tears are because I recognise the evil that is in that criminal is the same evil that resides in me.”

No one goes to a doctor until they feel ill. Atheists feel very healthy indeed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Atheism - The 2 % Solution

What do you think most people do with the evidence that exists regarding Jesus of Nazareth? To date, regarding Jesus:

. Some of the world’s most magnificent architecture has been constructed as an act of worship to Jesus

. Some of the world’s most beautiful art has been created as an act of worship to Jesus

. Some of the world’s greatest music has been written as an act of worship to Jesus

. Because of whom millions of people have survived exile and labour camps

. Because of whom millions of people have willingly given their lives

. Because of whom criminals, drug addicts, the suicidal, the lonely, the poor (and some rich) have found comfort, renewal and emotional / spiritual health while people like Son of Sam serial killer have found miraculous transformations of character.

. Because of whom millions of people turn away from the pursuit of financial gain and give their lives to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, shelter the homeless and abused, support the grieving, parent the orphaned and heal the sick.

. Because of whom all industrialised nations, modern universities and modern science have had their origins

. Because of whom a planet exists within an unimaginably huge and hostile universe that itself owes its existence to this Being.

. Because of whom we have forgiveness of sins, freedom from real guilt and salvation for eternity.

In response to the evidence that is available regarding this Man Jesus, who today is worshipped by over two billion people, this Jesus is someone that atheists claim never existed.

Atheists challenge Christians with “Proof! Give me proof and I’ll believe.” This of course is nonsense. Like Jesus said regarding atheists, “Even when I rise from the dead, many will not believe.” The fact is there is no evidence that would be acceptable to atheists. Their denial of Creator God is not based on evidence nor the lack thereof. The denial that Creator God exists, and by extension Jesus the Christ is based on a desire to rebel against the idea that Someone exists to whom they will one day be accountable for their actions, thoughts and words. “No fucking masters” is becoming the catch phrase for those who deny the reality of their Creator.

If you’ve ever longed to belong to a losing 2% minority who deny reality simply to support their lifestyle, then atheism is a group suited just for you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

atheists make highly extraordinary claims

Most everyone is familiar with the atheist creed: “To say that God exists is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.”

Well, certainly any extraordinary claim, be it for God or for anything else requires extraordinary proof. From my perspective of course
a) We have extraordinary and compelling proof for the existence of God, and
b) The “burden” of presenting extraordinary proof lies with those who make the following claims.

1) The universe doesn’t need to have a beginning because we come from a Finite Infinity.

1a) Even though “infinity” doesn't exist in reality, but only as a concept or as an idea, to avoid the implications of a Cause for the Big Bang atheists propose that our universe is just the latest in an infinite number of universes. In other words, our universe was caused by a previous universe that was caused by a previous universe, that was caused by . . .

1b) While stating that the universe is infinitely old, and while being forced to admit that if that were true, “today” would never arrive, atheists simply ignore that reality, continue to propose an infinite universe and hope that no one will notice or protest too loudly.

1c) It doesn’t matter what the second law of Thermodynamics says
It doesn’t matter about the levels of background radiation
It doesn’t matter about the levels of entropy
It doesn’t matter that the expansion of the universe is speeding up rather than slowing down, atheists ignore all this and maintain that our universe has existed from infinity past.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

2) Because the Big Bang carries with it the need for a Cause, atheists declare that despite ALL scientific evidence to the contrary, some beginnings, or at least this one, ie. our universe, doesn’t need a cause. “It just happened.”

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

3) Because the Big Bang carries with it the need for a Cause, atheists declare that our universe was preceded by the universe itself, both materially and chronologically. In essence the universe brought itself into being.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

4) There are approximately 50 constants and quantities that are so finely tuned that if any one of them were “off” by an infinitesimally small degree, neither we nor the universe would exist. And even though Penrose and Hawking have calculated that all this coming about by chance is 1 in 10 to the 10 to the 123 (which is an impossibly vast number to comprehend), atheists still maintain that everything that we see happened by chance.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

5) Atheists claim that there is no objective set of morals, values, and duties. They say something like, “My personal likes / dislikes, tastes, preferences and opinions will do just fine when determining the rightness or wrongness of my behaviours. On the other hand, other people’s behaviours, as they affect the quality of my life, must adhere to MY personal likes / dislikes, tastes, preferences and opinions. If they don’t, I can rightfully declare that those people are wrong.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

6) Atheists claim that regarding the cause of the universe and regarding the first DNA / RNA pre-loaded cell, there is nothing wrong with going in search of ever more complicated solutions, abandoning one after another, after another, after another, not because of new evidence but because of a need to avoid current evidence which points directly to Creator God. Atheists say that’s all the reason they need to disregard current scientific evidence.

This is a highly extraordinary claim!

6a) Atheists say that there is nothing wrong with never returning to a simple solution that coincides with current knowledge and common sense, as long as that current scientific evidence points directly to Creator God. Atheists say that’s all the reason they need to disregard current scientific evidence.

This is a highly extraordinary claim!

7) Atheists say that contrary to what classical historical scholarship says, known and knowable facts of history do not actually apply to the person of Jesus. In fact, Jesus never existed.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

. Even though the beginning of our universe demands a Cause and
. Even though the design of our mathematically precise universe demands a Designer and
. Even though the objective moral code with which atheists demand others treat them can only come from an ultimate authority, and
. Even though the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth point to the reality of Creator God, atheists claim that none of this points to anything beyond nature itself,

Now, atheists say that they will have evidence eventually, but the promise of proof at some point in the future is the same as no proof at all. Atheists are making extraordinary claims that are lacking not just extraordinary evidence but ANY evidence. What’s more, these people call their way of life reasonable and logical.

That's sad and that's why I'm not an atheist.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

atheist John Loftus fulfills prophecy

When I read atheist blogs like the one with John Loftus I’m perplexed by the thought that these people express after leaving Christianity. They actually see themselves as having done something courageous or noble or that they have somehow turned the tables on Christianity. I suppose that for those who have been raised in a home where religion was used a a bludgeon or in some other profoundly controlling manner, breaking out of that did take courage. Yet, that's not generally the sense that I've gotten. The reason that I’m perplexed, or perhaps amused would be a better term, is that Jesus said that observing scores of people leaving Christianity would be a perfectly natural thing for us to witness. In Mark 4:3-8, Jesus tells about those who come into contact with the Word of God, with the Gospel, with the Good News of God’s provision of salvation and forgiveness of our sins.

What’s remarkable about this story is not that some people leave the "faith." What’s remarkable is the number that remain true to their original commitment toward the Kingdom of God. Twenty-five percent! That’s all. Jesus prophesied (and atheists like John Loftus fulfill that prophecy), that only about one quarter of those who are exposed to and seemingly accept the Gospel of Jesus’ salvation will remain true to that commitment. For another twenty-five percent of those who hear about Jesus, it will have absolutely no effect whatsoever. They couldn’t care less. It’s not for them. Finally, about fifty percent, again like Mr. Loftus, will resemble a flash in the pan. They will be caught up in, not a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, but instead they fall headlong for a belief regarding someone’s teaching ABOUT God. They have a belief in their belief. Sadly, the cares of the world, the desire to be adored or admired or to make money or to live a lifestyle that contradicts God’s Word will cause them to not just fall away but to turn their backs on the One who died so their sins could be forgiven. Did you see that number? Jesus said that roughly half of those who at one time say they are Christians will later turn their backs on their purported faith and become functional atheists; those who live as though God does not exist. If you’re an atheist who once claimed to be a Christian, you need to know that you are fulfilling Biblical prophecy.

And the rest? Well, again Jesus says that really, in the end, only about twenty-five percent of those who begin their journey with Him will complete their trek. Only about one quarter of those who claim Jesus, the Son of God as Lord and Saviour will one day hear,

“Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Atheist Missionary Tract?

10 Questions Every Christian Should Ask
That’s the title of an Atheist Missionary Tract. The questions are supposed to trigger thoughts that will make Christians say, “Whoa. I never pondered these things before this brilliant atheist brought them to my mind. Why, the things that I believe must be crazy because there is just no rational response to these provocative questions. Sir, what must I do to become an Atheist?”

The main point of this Missionary Tract is that prayer doesn’t work. Therefore God doesn’t exist. The creator of this Missionary Tract says that it’s designed specifically for:

“Christians who are intelligent, college educated, professional types.”

Isn’t that just like those who are apart from Christ; judging people’s worth and ability by their education? You can be sure that where you find someone judging others by their intelligence, judging by appearance and degree of wealth won’t be far behind. This shouldn’t surprise. Intelligence is tremendously important to atheists because intelligence is the main object of their faith, with science and pride being the second and third aspects of their triune god. Thankfully, Jesus operates on a plain with more substance and acceptance than that. Anyhow, the questions in this Tract begin as follows:

1. Why won’t God heal amputees?
Hmmm. If God won’t heal amputees then He must not exist. Don’t laugh! That is the exact conclusion of the author of this post. Now, I agree, the word “miracle” is overused and misused. Generally, people’s use of the word completely overlooks the fact that miracles, as they are described in the Bible, are always and only used in regard to building the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the author says that a Christian, even one with a college education will only be able to come up with a “poor rationalization” in response to this perceived conundrum. Well, how about this? The reason that God doesn’t cause a new limb to appear, and the reason we don't ask Him to make this happen is because when an arm or a leg or whatever is cut off, as far as our time on earth is concerned, it’s the end of the line. Praying for a new leg to appear would be like praying to make it to the airport on time when you know that your plane left two hours ago. It would be like praying for the company that closed last fall to give you a big raise for this coming Christmas. It would be like praying for your uncle who died ten years ago to drop in for a visit tomorrow. It’s a done deal my friend. The show is over. The train has left the station. Some things are the end of the book, and losing a limb is one of them.

2. Why are there so many starving people?
How about war, greed, corrupted self-love, selfishness and a lust for power? How about because you won’t share your wealth with the poor? All of these things come under the umbrella of sin. You know? That thing that atheists say doesn't exist?

3. Why does God demand the death of innocent people in the Bible?
You don’t have to listen to atheists very long before you get the impression that they think an ideal world would be one where no one ever dies. No negative consequences for planet earth there, huh?
The fact is, death is a part of the type of world that those in rebellion to God forced us to have. We’ve got this type of world until Jesus returns and we’d be better off learning to adapt to it instead of shedding crocodile tears over questions about which you aren’t even interested in the answers. More importantly, don’t you think it’s weird how the author of this tract and people like him will focus on a war, or famine or school shooting and demand an answer from God as to why He allowed these things to happen? And they’ll say something like, "How can He be a God of love when, blah, blah, blah!" They sound so enthralled with their logic. It’s even more weird how they’ll never demand an answer from God as to why He gave them hands that work perfectly, picking up, turning things off and on, fixing, adjusting, caressing, creating and exploring with exquisite dexterity. It’s mind-boggling to watch how they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave them mouths with the ability to sound out words, taste foods, sense temperature and texture with extraordinary sensitivity; mouths and vocal cords that can moan, cry and sing. They never seem to consider the contradiction in how they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave them eyes that can communicate emotion and explore the majestic beauty of Creation. They use the word creation without ever considering the Creator. They never seem to wonder why it is that they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He has allowed them to be born in an unimaginably huge and hostile universe on this little jewel of a planet. They don’t ever consider why they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He continues to allow them to take for granted the fact that they have more food than they can eat; as much money as they need, and a health care system that the majority of humanity cannot even conceive of. They don’t ever seem to wonder what kind of a person would take all of these gifts and still curse the God who gave it all to them. They don’t ever seem to think it odd that they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He is so good to them even when they hate Him, ignore Him, reject Him and hate those who love Him. Of course if a conversation goes in this direction, they will immediately yell "There is no God," since it doesn’t work so well to let God exist only when you want to blame Him for something.

Because none of us are innocent, the most important question of all is, “Why does Jesus grant salvation to billions of people who don’t deserve it?”

4. Why is there anti scientific material in the Bible?
Have you ever considered how arrogant a person must be to say, “Because I can’t understand something, therefore no one else can understand it either? Because I haven’t discovered truth, I therefore declare, ‘There is no truth’?

The author says that because a flood could never cover Mt. Everest therefore no flood ever happened. It’s never occurred to the author that Mt. Everest wasn’t always Mt. Everest. We can know that at one time, based on fossil evidence that parts of Mt. Everest were once part of the sea floor. Something, something cataclysmic caused tremendous shifting of the earth’s plates and what we now know as Mt. Everest was formed. Actually, that’s pretty scientific. Another comment was that the Bible says that Adam was created from a handful of dust. Ya, well, if it comes down to non life turning into life via the command of a Creator or non turning into life accidentally (atheists actually claim that inanimate and inorganic gases evolved - Pfft), I’ll take the Creator version every time.

5. Why does God condone slavery?
He doesn’t. In fact we are told in the Bible that there will be a special punishment for “Slave Traders.” As well, Paul says that if you can legally get out of being a slave then by all means, do so. On the other hand, Paul gives advice to those who are CHRISTIAN slaves and it applies to all of us, even to those who feel like they're treated like slaves by their employer. In the Bible you’ll find that the story line deals with life as it is, not as it might be in our dreams. You see, a life with God isn’t about running away from reality. It’s about living an abundant and full life in the midst of reality. People typically spend so much time running away from the difficulties of life that they completely miss the learning and growth in character that comes from wading into the middle of those difficulties. There are many good posts on the internet re: the subject of slavery in the Bible. These posts are clearly presented and if the author was serious about addressing this subject he’d do more than just throw out unsubstantiated claims.

6. Why do bad things happen to good people?
How about, because we live in a world where bad things happen - to all people. Here’s a better question. Why did bad things happen to Jesus, the only “good” and perfectly innocent person to ever walk the face of the earth? Whatever we may say about how and why God has allowed His creation to wallow in the effects of sin, the fact remains that God took His own medicine. This is an important point for someone like the author to contemplate. Why would God come to earth to specifically experience the horrors that this life has to offer? And it wasn’t just run-of-the-mill life that He experienced. Unlike North American atheists, the hardships that Jesus suffered went beyond having to listen to people talk about Christ at Christmas.

No, Jesus’ time on this planet was earth-bound life at its worst. We are told in the Bible, “Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.” We are told in the Bible “Jesus was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief and suffering.” These are familiar words, but to what exactly are they referring? Some say that what Jesus suffered was what He experienced on the cross. Certainly Jesus was obedient “even unto death on the cross.” However you don’t bench press 100kgs. before you’ve first learned to lift 50kgs. Jesus had obviously learned obedience in lighter issues long, long before He lifted His cross. Just a few of the many examples:
. He was born, on purpose, into grinding poverty and purposely remained there throughout His life on earth.
. He was born into a race of people that is almost universally hated.
. He later experienced the hatred of people from His own race.
. He experienced undiluted rejection by those closest to Him - His own family
. He experienced at a young age the death of someone close - His Dad
. He will have born the weight of responsibility - Oldest Son
. He was misunderstood by literally everyone, including his closest friends and students.
These are just a fraction of the “bad things” that happened to the only truly good person who ever lived. And as to the question of why? That happened so that you could be forgiven. That happened so that you could be freed from the power of sin and the consequences of real guilt.

7. Why is there no evidence of Jesus miracles?
You mean other than a resurrection that resulted in the most vibrant, exciting, freedom giving movement to ever appear on the face of the earth? You mean other than a resurrection that changed the world into a “before Christ” and “after Christ” frame of reference? You mean other than a resurrection that brought a change so drastic in individuals lives that hospitals came into being? And not just hospitals but Orphanages, Emergency shelters, Addictions treatment centres, Schools, Home building projects, Emergency food programs, Treatment centres for leprosy, AID’s shelters, Relief programs, Seniors homes, Drop-in centres, and Clothing depots. You mean other than a resurrection that placed Christianity at the forefront of all the most technologically and industrially advanced countries in the world? You mean other than a resurrection that generated followers who began the first universities and laid the groundwork for modern science?

8. Why doesn’t Jesus just appear in front of you?
He doesn’t need to. The overwhelming evidence of Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial and His resurrection and appearance to others, as well as the presence of His Spirit in my soul are enough evidence for me. This isn’t a rationalisation. It’s the facts, Jack. Besides, if Jesus appeared in front of an atheist, s/he’d find a naturalistic explanation for it. Remember? Atheists don’t believe in miracles.

9. Why does he ask us to eat his body and drink his blood?
He doesn’t. It’s unfortunate that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church have resulted in turning out more atheists and agnostics than any other system of thought on earth. Nevertheless, Jesus was speaking metaphorically regarding His sacrificial death on the cross. He was telling us to be willing to follow Him down any path, including the one leading to death if it is required of us. As Christians we are to take part in the Lord’s supper or communion “In remembrance of Me.” Taken in context with the rest of Jesus’ teaching, it is impossible to make a case for Jesus saying that taking this sacrament
(a) turns into His body and blood, and
(b) leads to salvation.
I’m certain that Jesus statements in John 6:53-68 were intended to be confusing as He was addressing those who had, up to this point refused to believe any and all signs that Jesus had presented to them. He instead laid out for those willing to learn what His sacrifice meant for them. That He spoke about eternal life as a result of “eating and drinking” should show that He was not talking about eating in the normal earthly sense. The key to understanding John 6:53-68 is found in the verses 6:51 - “I am the living bread that came down from heaven,”and 6:63 - “The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” In 6:51 He is speaking metaphorically. In 6:63, to make sure that He isn’t misunderstood, Jesus explains to the disciples that He was speaking metaphorically.

10. Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as normal people.
Christians get divorced to the degree that they obey or disobey Jesus and how He asks us to treat each other. For example -
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), impartial and sincere. Peace makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness (James 3: 17,18 (insertion of spiritual fruit mine). Or
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, Holy, and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. And forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:12, 13).

This is as good a recipe for a great marriage as any I’ve found. To the degree that Christians follow it, to that degree will their marriage last. Currently, many Christians are following that advice to the same degree that non Christians are following that advice. Hence, the same divorce rate.

One final thing. I don’t need from Jesus an answer to every little thing. When someone has proved himself to me 99 times, I’m confident that number 100 will turn out ok as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Christianity = Reverse Billing

John 3:18, 36 - “Whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned ALREADY because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath REMAINS on him.”

So, there you have it. If you don’t want hell, you need to call in and say you don’t want hell. Otherwise, it will be assumed that hell is what you want.
Some conditions apply

p.s. Isn’t that a lot better than the other way around? What, for instance if you were an atheist and you HAD to spend eternity with God if you didn’t call in to cancel that arrangement? And what if you didn’t know that you could cancel, and one day you’re walking down the street and an elephant steps on you and bing bang there you are, surrounded by Christians - forever and ever. No - hell being the default is the best idea.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oprah’s atheist promo

I saw an atheist blogger yesterday as he described how he enjoyed watching Oprah. The reason? She caused people to question their religious beliefs. Well, she certainly does that. According to Oprah and her millions of enlightened followers, as long as “your heart is right” (whatever that means), God will welcome you with open arms. Many of the atheists with whom I've interacted operate kind of like, "Well if I'm wrong, I'm sure that God is the benevolent sort and will recognise what a good person I am so it will all work out."

Neither atheists nor Oprah explain just how right / good a person’s heart has to be, or according to whose scale of rightness we must adhere. One thing they’re sure of, it isn’t Creator God’s scale of rightness that we need to pay attention to. On the other hand, it’s probably fair to say that atheists, Oprah and every last one of her followers believe that for us to reach our spiritual goal (whatever that is) our hearts must be at least as right as their hearts.

That’s why Jesus the Christ and the religion that bears His name are rejected by atheists, Oprah and her followers. After all, Jesus is the only religious leader who has or ever will proclaim with absolute clarity that none of us, not a single person on planet earth is right enough to be acceptable to God in our natural state.

I am not saying that Oprah or any given atheist is overtly evil. In fact Oprah’s enormous resources have allowed her to do tremendous good for many, many people. People would say and I’m sure that she would agree, “Her heart is right. Oprah means well. She tries to do the right thing.” No, the reason that this atheist's comments about Oprah caught my attention is that while there are relatively few professing atheists in the world (those who declare there is no God), there may be a billion or more what I call Functional Atheists - those who live as though God, as He is described in the Bible, does not exist.

Functional atheists, or practical atheists as they're called by some, believe that God’s desires for us are no more relevant for our lives than those of the guy next door.

It is my belief that Oprah has singlehandedly turned more people away from Jesus than any other spiritual leader perhaps in all of history. She has done this by assuring her followers that they are correct in what they already want to believe, i.e., Jesus is not the Way, the Truth and the Life. Millions of people trust Oprah. Virtually all American news magazines were unanimous in the opinion that Oprah’s influence elected the last American President. Because people trust Oprah, because "they believe in her," so to speak, she has been able to convince people that their personal quest for “salvation” and their individual ideas about how to deal with their sin and guilt are just as valid as any other spiritual path that humans have invented. In her own words, and in direct opposition to the teaching of Jesus, “There are many paths to God.” Now of course, for Oprah and for anyone else whose lives reflect the fact that they’ve rejected Jesus as Lord, this type of thinking is understandable. In fact it can and should be expected.

Whether it’s Thomas Jefferson who needs to justify screwing his female slaves by cutting out all descriptions of miracles in the Bible or whether it’s someone else needing to justify living common-law with h/her current person of interest, denying the authority of the Bible over one’s life is a requisite first step. Convincing others to follow along in the simple-minded belief that large numbers of like-thinkers have the power to magically turn something from wrong into right is the next step.

Of course, the idea that we’re all on the same road to God or that there are many paths to God is ludicrous. Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I Am who I say I Am, you will die in your sins.” The answer to the question, “Was He right?” is not in the same category of questions like, “What is the most pleasing thing in life?” or “How would you describe the perfect holiday?” If there is a Creator God, then the answer to the question of His existence is of the same order as the answer to the question, What is 2 + 2? The answer will either be right or it will be wrong. Period!

. If God has revealed Himself to us, as Jesus said that He has, and

. If God has provided a path of belief that is intended to lead us to Him, again as Jesus said that He has, and

. If our very salvation depends on us following the path that has been laid out for us by Creator God, as Jesus said that it does,

. Then other paths or alternate paths can only lead us away from Creator God, and not to Creator God. To know what Jesus taught and to then deliberately choose to follow Buddhism or Native Religion or anything else instead cannot and will not place you on the same path to God as Jesus directed.

We can’t logically, as many try to do, pick and choose from a combination of religions, or choose no religion, and then decide that our newly invented belief system is true, simply because we would like it to be true. Something of this nature is either true or it isn’t. If there is such as thing as truth, and Jesus said that He and His Word are the Truth, then you can’t have thousands of god’s (Hinduism) and only one God (Christianity). You can’t have Jesus as Lord (Christianity), and yourself as lord (New Age). You can’t have an eternal, personal, loving, just, merciful, patient God (Christianity) and eternal nothingness (Buddhism). You can’t have God as Creator, separate from His creation, yet intimately involved and active in His creation (Christianity) and god is the same as creation, uninvolved and passive (Native Religion / Pantheism). God cannot exist and not exist at the same time.

As C. S. Lewis pointed out, there may be many wrong answers to any given mathematical problem. And some of the wrong answers will be much closer to the right answer than some of the others. But there will always and only be one correct answer. Everything else will always and only be a wrong answer. Likewise, there are several thousand answers to the questions, What is God like? and How can we know Him? Some of those answers will be closer to correct than others in their understanding of Creator God. However, one thing is certain, there is only one right answer to both 2 + 2 = , and Is Jesus the Way, the Truth and the Life? and not just any old path will lead you to either answer. Neither will having a right heart allow your instructor to say, “Oh Jenny, you have such a good heart. And I know that you mean well. That’s why, even though you think 121 is the answer to 2 + 2, I’m going to say that you’re correct. Doesn’t me giving you a gold star make you feel good? I do it because feeling good is the only thing that’s imporant.”

Jesus has said that He is the only way by which salvation may be known and He is either correct or He isn’t. Jesus of Nazareth is either telling the truth or else He is a liar of grand proportion. Either He is the One through whom your sins can be forgiven or He isn’t. No other religious leader has made the type of claims that were made by Jesus and no other religious leader has provided the confirming evidence that Jesus provided so that we may fairly and logically believe His claims. A decision must be made, and according to Jesus there are eternal consequences to how we answer His question of “Who do you say that I Am?” Jesus may be many things to many people but one thing He isn’t. Jesus is not ‘sort of important.’ If He is correct in what He taught, then what you do with Jesus is the most important decision that you will ever make. So, are you going to believe what Jesus says about Himself and salvation, or are you going to believe what Oprah says about Jesus and salvation? Either Jesus is correct or Oprah is correct. It can’t be both.

Rather than reach out their hand and accept the offer of heaven, atheists wail and moan that Jesus is sending them to hell. Rather than do what she absolutely knows Jesus taught about salvation, Oprah would rather encourage the people who’ve made her a billionaire to ignore our Creator’s instructions regarding what is required to attain salvation (hence her fame and popularity). She tells them to make up their own ideas of how to get to heaven. All the wealthiest evangelists use the same technique. Tell people what they want to hear and the money rolls in.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Remembered This

I saw this in the paper many, many years ago. Just remembered it.

Male - 40 Employed, non smoker, social dinker.

I'd love to know how many responses he got and if any of them were concerned about his social dinking.

Nietzsche - The Only Honest Atheist.

A friend sent this to me. It’s by Joel McDurmon.

“When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands. Christianity presupposes that man does not know, cannot know, what is good for him. Christian morality is a command; its origin is transcendent; it is beyond all criticism, all right to criticism; it has truth only if God has truth — it stands or falls with faith in God.” Friedrich Nietzsche “Twilight of the Idols,” The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufman (New York: Penguin Books, 1976), 515–6.

The point — completely lost on modern atheists — is that when you strike down Christianity, Christian morality necessarily goes with it. Nietzsche candidly professed this, as did his earlier French counterpart Marquis de Sade: no God, no moral imperatives; no “thou shalt,” and no “thou shalt not.” Only, “I will.”
But modern atheists have not only ignored this logical conclusion, they have actually attempted to attack Christianity in the name of Christian morality, calling the Christian God cruel, bloodthirsty, racist, sadomasochistic, etc. Richard Dawkins’ now famous book begins an early chapter with such accusations and much more. Whence the moral outrage? See Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 31.

Nietzsche wrote the above as a commentary on the English writer George Eliot, decrying her clinging to morality despite her rejection of God. In fact, according to some accounts, and just as Dawkins, she attacked Christianity in the name of morality, calling the faith “immoral.” Nietzsche spies the inconsistency and condemns her (and thus Dawkins) as a weak, effeminate, and illogical atheist. He writes: “G. Elliot: They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality. This is an inconsistency: we do not wish to hold it against little moralistic females à la Eliot. In England [then and now, apparently] one must rehabilitate oneself after every little emancipation from theology by showing in a veritably awe-inspiring manner what a moral fanatic one is. That is the penance they pay there. We others hold otherwise.… ”Friedrich Nietzsche, “Twilight of the Idols,” The Portable Nietzsche, 515.

I could not help but think of today’s little rosy-cheeked moralist, Dawkins, preaching against the cosmic bully of the Old Testament, and denouncing the extremes of religion — all the while unaware that he must have the morality of Christendom under his feet (and his audience’s feet) in order to denounce those extremes.

Nietzsche blows up the charade: “When people actually believe that they know “intuitively” what is good and evil, when they therefore suppose that they no longer require Christianity as the guarantee of morality, we merely witness the effects of the dominion of the Christian value judgment and an expression of the strength and depth of this dominion: such that the origin of morality has been forgotten, such that the very conditional character of its right to existence is no longer felt.” Friedrich Nietzsche, “Twilight of the Idols,” The Portable Nietzsche, 516.

For this reason — for his fearless and relentless consistency — I love reading Nietzsche. The arch-atheist — the honest, consistent atheist — foils all the prominent modern atheists. He knows and admits that Dawkins’ moral indignation arises from the very God he denounces. Nietzsche knows that such moral fire only expresses the prior power and dominion of Christianity. Nietzsche knows that moral indignation itself is borrowed capital from Christendom.

Unlike Dawkins, however, Nietzsche refused to keep pretending. Nietzsche had the intellect to see the connection, and the guts to admit the outcome of his world-view.

Modern atheism, apparently, has neither. For them, Christian society provides them enough comfort to enjoy the peace and tolerance of Christian rules while denying the existence of the Rule-giver. For them, this contradiction regarding morality is not a problem, simply because they refuse to admit it. Well, “this point has to be exhibited again and again,” and I don’t mind letting Nietzsche do so for us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atheists - What’s not to like?

An interesting story emerged this morning on the news-wire. Apparently a corked bottle floated up on the shores of Nebraska, U.S.A.. In the bottle was what appeared to be a page torn from an atheist’s diary. It read as follows.

“It’s 9:45, May 1 / 07. Help! I’m adrift in the Bible Belt of America. I need rescuing. All alone. I’m taunted because people say that I’m arrogant and aloof. I don’t get it. Of course I’m arrogant and aloof but not in a negative way.

People say that I’m intolerant of religion and bigoted toward Christians, but how can I not be when 100% of the world’s problems are caused by Christians? I found that fact myself in a couple of Ditchen’s books and those guys wouldn’t lie.

I’m in an impossible situation. I’m an awesome individual yet people hold that against me. When I say to people, "I’m a Bright and you're not," they look at me like there's something wrong with me. I can’t help it if being more intelligent and more responsible than most people caused me to choose atheism. And, because I don’t need God to be a good person, I’m convinced that my morals are impeccable. I simply don’t do anything wrong - not really - certainly not worse than most people. Yet people look down on me because of that.

Did I mention how intelligent and self-sufficient I am?

As far as I can see, I’m doing everything right. I love myself, I admire myself, I esteem myself, I’m proud of myself and I’m proud that I feel these ways about myself. I just don’t get it! Why don’t people like that about me?

Like any atheist, I live life by reason and logic and refuse to believe in anything if I can’t touch it, smell it, see it, feel it or hear it. If I rely on my senses to put me in touch with the only things that are important in life, what else am I supposed to do?

Did I remember to mention how intelligent I am?

Is it my fault that we atheists are world leaders in anything and everything that matters to the humans race? Is it my fault that when it comes to understanding why we’re here and how we came to be, we atheists see ourselves as right while seeing 98%of the world as wrong? That’s just a fact of life. We’re right and you’re wrong. Don’t shoot the messenger, dude!

I mean, I already see myself as more intelligent than idiots who believe in God. What more can I do to be liked?

I’m as politically correct as I can be. I already recognise that humility and kindness and generosity are practically useless to this phenotype. I’m in favour of killing off anyone who’s a drain on society or just inconvenient, like those under a month old, the elderly and the crippled. Really, nobody but Christians want those people around anyway.

Sure any nation run by Darwinist principles would become a Fascist state, but hey, we’re atheists! What’s not to like?”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Are You Strong Like An Atheist?

That's what the atheist Hump the Camel thinks. Atheists are strong, freethinkers, masters of their fate and captains of their souls. Hooohwa!!! Big tough boy that Hump. As for Christians? Well, Hump sees us as sheeple, weak, easily led, pathetic believers in fairytales. Actually, there was a time when I used to believe that as well. That was before Jesus ran me to ground with his love. Now, everything has changed.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have the freedom to have wonderful, deep and abiding peace. I have the freedom to have peace in the thick of adversity, peace in the midst of conflict, peace in the face of opposition, peace beneath the weight of every burden. I have the freedom to lie down and sleep in peace knowing that the Creator of the Universe provides for my safety.

Besides all that, I have freedom to experience joy. I have found that, no matter what the circumstance, no matter how filled with gloom the prospect, no matter how discouraging or disconcerting the difficulty - I can nevertheless tap that reservoir of joy which God has placed into every human heart that has come to Him through Christ. The assurance of His pardon, His power, His presence in every scene of life, has emptied my life of gloom and sadness and filled it with a high and holy gladness. Jesus came to earth to proclaim, in part, a religion of joy. Wherever He went, throughout His earthly life, He brought joy to the sorrowing, cheer to the downcast, and gladness to those who were sitting in the shadow of death. His earthly ministry restored joy to human hearts which had been languishing in the shackles of sin and sadness. He came to do that for me! Jesus says to His followers, "These things I have spoken to you that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full." Jesus has given me a joy that is so deep, so firm, so sure that the trials of life are but as the ripples on the surface of the sea.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from worry. I have freedom to be filled with passion for the most worthy cause on earth, that of furthering the kingdom of God. I have freedom from slavery to sin, freedom to obey my Creator, freedom to have patience in the face of frustration, freedom to know the will of God, and freedom from guilt.

Besides all that, I have freedom to become more spiritual than any seeker of worldly spirituality, for my soul, encased in this earthly shell is now the residence of God’s Holy Spirit. He uplifts my troubled soul. He is my unfailing comforter. He corrects me. He counsels me. He is my teacher who sanctifies me. I thank the Spirit of the Living God for the assurance He brings me on a daily basis. He brings me blessed and holy quietness. He revives me with life and with power. He cleanses and renews me. He bends me and remakes me. He gives me faith and I live an abundant life because of that faith. I am so very thankful for the Holy Spirit, for He has kindled a flame of sacred love in this once cold, cold heart of mine.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to know that God is pleased with me, freedom to sacrifice for others without feeling used, freedom to have a clear conscience, freedom to actually become a good person in the eyes of God, freedom from bitterness, freedom to be gentle toward those who are hostile toward me. I have freedom to submit to others from a position of inner strength and confidence, and I have the freedom to not only experience grace from God, but the freedom to extend that grace to others.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to love others, freedom to take a one-down position and not lose one iota of value or worth, freedom from anxiety, freedom from the fear of death, freedom from the fear of other people, freedom from the fear of anything that life wants to bring my way. I have the freedom to serve Jesus, freedom to be kind toward those who are not kind toward me, and freedom to do the right thing even when I’m strongly tempted to do the wrong thing.

Besides all that, I have freedom to have an inexhaustible Source of spiritual and moral power. By simply trusting Jesus, He has promised me pardon for my sin, peace for my soul, strength in the hour of trouble, courage in the face of difficulty, power in the moment of temptation - and I receive this pardon, peace, and power simply by trusting that He will keep His promise.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from resentments, freedom to look forward to eternity, freedom to become a man of integrity, freedom from self-centeredness, and freedom to be thankful, wonderfully, wonderfully thankful. I have the freedom to admit that everything that I have is from God and from Him alone, freedom from the need to be rich, freedom to be wronged without it becoming a big deal and I have found the freedom to learn and to grow into Christ-likeness in every single situation.

Besides all that, I have the freedom to hope. The New Testament is filled with messages of hope. I have "the hope of the gospel," "the hope of the promise," "the hope of His calling," "the hope which is laid up for me in heaven," "our hope of glory," "hope in our Lord Jesus Christ," "that blessed hope," "the hope of eternal life," "the full assurance of hope," "the hope we have as an anchor," "a lively hope" and on and on it goes. This is not some pious wish, but a hope in the sense of a sure confidence. The Christian’s hope, since it is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ is a hope of which I am not ashamed, a hope that is as sure as Jesus Christ Himself is sure. The future holds for me more good that I cold ever hope for.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from my past, freedom from anger, freedom from seeking self-worth in possessions, freedom from the need for popularity, and freedom to love and to be loved without reservation or self-protection.

Besides all that, I have freedom to experience new mercies from God every single day. They are countless, constant, and sure. They greet me in the morning and gladden my heart at noon. They follow me into the shades of night. Because of God’s mercies, there is never a sorrow that I experience that Jesus does not come into with His presence, power and comfort. Neither is there a burden that He doesn’t bear. Jesus’ mercies shall follow me all the days of my life; they endure forever and ever.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to admit that I need to change, freedom to revel in the new song of righteousness, freedom from the need for power, freedom from spiritual darkness, freedom to first identify and then to have healthy, kind, generous, and loving friends. I have freedom from shame, freedom from having to be ‘right,’ and the freedom to trade the lessor and unstable god of self-esteem, for the glorious and solid provision of Christ-esteem.

Besides all that, I have genuine happiness. Not happiness as the world understands it, based on one pleasure inducing event after another. No, I have the real deal, because there is only one place where we find real happiness, and that is down at the feet of the crucified Saviour, because only there can we be freed from our sins.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to know the difference between life-giving and life-destroying behaviours, freedom from insecurity, freedom to not feel constrained by the rules of our society, freedom to have a life of meaning and context and purpose, freedom to know the difference between right and wrong, freedom to rejoice in being alive, freedom from the trap of bigotry, freedom from greed, freedom from envy and freedom to come to God with boldness and confidence because I’m shielded by His mercy and grace.

Besides all that, I have been given the freedom to know, to really know the person of Truth. He has revealed to me truth about God, truth about man, truth about life, truth about death, truth about myself, truth about heaven and the truth about hell.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to know what it’s like to have enough no matter the circumstance, freedom to find pure rest for my soul, freedom to know with certainty that because of my faith, every morning I can put on the breast-plate of God’s approval and to know that God will never leave me or give up on me.

Besides all that, I have freedom to have God either lighten my burden to match my strength, or increase my strength to match the burden. And without fail I have received His strength: strength to stand in the midst of the storm, strength to outlast the bombardment of pain, strength to bear the burden of the cross, strength to resist the onslaught of sin - or having fallen, to tread the path of the prodigal back to the Father’s house and to be assured of full and free forgiveness. These victories are by no means mine. Left to myself, to my own puny powers of resistance or endurance, I will fall short every single time. "Not that I am sufficient in myself, but my sufficiency is of God."

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from making huge life-decision mistakes, freedom to have a good marriage, freedom from confusion and second guessing, freedom from pride, freedom to give justice, but not to seek it, and I have the freedom to understand that all the good that happens in my life is like a stream that is leading me directly back to the Source.

Besides all that, I have freedom to be a brand new creation. His power has displaced hate with love, sorrow with joy, relational war with peace. His power took this man who was morally rotten and transformed me into a trophy of grace. Halleluiah - God be praised!

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from condemnation, freedom to have mercy lavished upon me, freedom from fake and shallow friendships, freedom to NOT say, "Lord, come into my life and change my pain," but, "Lord, come into my pain and change me." I have freedom to suffer with and for Jesus, and freedom to forgive.

Besides all that, I have freedom from judgment. He has blotted out my wrongs. He has cleansed me from sin. He is only interested in my broken and contrite heart and today I can praise God because Calvary covers all my sins, past, present, and future. How amazing! How incredible! How wonderful!

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom from the need to achieve, freedom to look forward to tomorrow, freedom from God’s wrath, freedom from putting me first, freedom from the need for position, freedom from the feeling of alienation, freedom to be bathed in the soothing warmth of God’s enormous Love, freedom from dependence on false gods, freedom to have patience in the midst of suffering, and I have the freedom to become more than a conqueror.

Besides all that, I have the freedom to know Who to thank when I’m grateful, for every good and perfect gift is from God. He is the righteous One. I celebrate His glory. I acknowledge His sovereignty. I rejoice and sing the wonders of His grace. How great is my Lord and my Saviour!

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to inherit all of God’s riches, freedom to understand the Gospel message, freedom to know that I’m a disciple that Jesus loves. Great God of wonders, I proclaim your majesty! I exalt your deity! Your eyes are upon the righteous. Your ears are open to their cry. You are near to those whose hearts are breaking. You save those who have a contrite spirit. You are perfect in power, in love, and in purity. May You alone be exalted!

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have freedom to have total assurance in God’s promises for forgiveness, for strength and for eternity. Is faith in this God, as the world sees it, a crutch? Yes, and more than that. Jesus is my stretcher, my chariot, my sole support in each and every circumstance. After all, to what would we look to for help if not to that which is stronger than ourselves? Jesus has tested me and I now know that in every scene of life - in joy and sorrow, in success and failure, in health and in sickness, in moments of crisis when all lesser gods give way, I have trusted Jesus and have found that He is able to carry both me and my burden and bring me safely to the other side. With Paul and with believers of all ages I can say: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until the Day when He returns." I and all other Christians have the Divine assurance of comfort in sorrow, strength in sickness, solace in bereavement, help in distress, and ultimate triumph in the midst of dire calamity. And this assurance is signed and sealed in the blood of the Son of God Himself. The world has known no higher guarantee.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have the freedom to do something valuable until my dying breath, freedom to not only accept, but to enjoy my weaknesses, and I have the freedom to give away my time, my money and my self.

Because of my relationship with Jesus, I have the freedom to counter my culture, and the freedom to find contentment in every single situation. This contentment comes from knowing beyond any doubt that, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" "My God will supply ALL my needs."

Finally, because of my relationship with Jesus, I have the freedom to say to life,
"Rain on, I will not drown, for I am standing on higher ground!"

None of these freedoms were mine prior to my healed relationship with Jesus. I was like a ship in the middle of the ocean with no navigational system. I could go any direction I chose, but I had no idea how to find a safe harbour for my soul. Do I experience all of these freedoms at all times with perfect regularity? No. But this I know. While I’m not who I should be. And I’m not who I’m going to be. Thanks to God alone, I’m not who I used to be.